McLaren is pursuing a technology that could see the need for windshield wipers disappear.
Windshield wipers have been around since the early 1900s, but could become a thing of the past if McLaren has anything to do with it.
The technology uses ultrasonic vibrations to repel water from the windscreen, in a forcefield like manner.
The idea came up in an interview with the Sunday Times with McLaren design director Frank Stephenson.
“"It took a lot of effort to get this out of a source in the military. I asked why you don't see wipers on some aircraft when they are coming in at very low levels for landing,” he said. “I was told that it's not a coating on the surface but a high frequency electronic system that never fails and is constantly active. Nothing will attach to the windscreen."
While this seems like a far fetched idea, the benefits for performance are huge.
With heavy motors required to power conventional windshield wipers, a lot of weight can be saved. That’s not mentioning the aerodynamic advantage without having a tall, protruding wiper on the windshield.
While the company is still looking into the technology, one must wonder if this would work in snowy or icy conditions.